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20121222
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majority leader mitch mcconnell said there is still time to work out a deal. however, there is no firm evidence of any real plan. here is what we do know tonight. president obama cutting his vacation short arriving back in washington today. house lawmakers announcing late today they are now planning to return on sunday. but listen to the rhetoric. and you have to question whether that will do any good because near early everything that is coming out of d.c. is about blame. not answers. >> speaker boehner should call members of the house back to washington today. he shouldn't have let them go in fact. they are not here. they are not here. john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> harris: a spokesman for john boehner fired back "senator reid should talk less and legislate more." and senate minority leader mcconnell saying we should have worked all this out months ago. >> and republicans aren't about to write a blank check or anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of t
tomorrow afternoon. host: both majority leader harry reid and mitch mcconnell both expressed optimism after the meeting with the president. what is the basis of their optimism? is this a sign we might be one step, two steps, through step closer to a deal? caller: it does appear we are a step closer to a deal. they are talking about doing is extraordinarily popular stuff. except for the big marquee item, which is letting taxes rise on the wealthy. the rest of the stuff they are looking at doing the stuff they do all the time. it is extending an expiring tax policies. they know the benefit businesses. extent college tuition credits. there are looking at protecting people from the alternative minimum tax. it is all very urgent stuff that needs to be done. there are only two remotely controversial pieces of this, that is what to do with the estate tax and to how to define the wealthy people whose taxes are going to go up. the rest of it is, basically protecting people from tax hikes. i guess extending unemployment benefits and sometimes controversial for the republicans. it appears to have agre
have to have that first vote done in a timely way so that both senator reid and senator mcconnell can leave to have the designated meeting with president obama. mr. cochran: mr. president, let me join with the senator from maryland in commending all senators for the expeditious way we've been able to move this bill but particularly the chairwoman herself, who's provided strong leadership, capable leadership, fairness, a sense of fairness for all senators, and i thank her for the honor of serving with her on this committee. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate senatorses can attend the weekly caucus meetings. this morning they approve and extension of the farm intelligence v it allows the government to continue intercepting overseas communication. it extends legal immunity phone companies that help the government wiretap the domestic phone calls. president obama plans to sign the bill. when the senate is back we are expecting senators to continued work on the $60 billion hurricane sandy relief package. negotiations continue on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.
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